Colombia: Economic growth speeds up in Q1
June 23, 2011
In the first quarter, GDP added 5.1% over the same quarter last year, which represented an improvement over the 4.8% expansion observed in the fourth quarter (previously reported: +4.6% year-on-year) and was slightly above market expectations, which had seen the economy growing 5.0%. The first quarter acceleration was primarily driven by domestic demand, in particular by a strong stockpiling compared with the same quarter last year. Total consumption grew 5.4% year-on-year in Q1 (Q4: +6.0% yoy), while growth in fixed investment decelerated from 13.8% in Q4 to 8.7% in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the external sector deteriorated somewhat over the previous quarter, as the 11.5% rise in exports (Q4: +9.1% yoy) was more than offset by a strong jump in imports, which climbed from a 16.2% increase in Q4 to a 21.4% expansion in Q1. As a result, the overall contribution from the external sector stepped down from minus 2.2 percentage points in the fourth quarter to minus 3.0 percentage points in the first. At the sector level, agriculture expanded 7.8% in the first quarter, overshooting a 3.5% increase in the fourth quarter. Industry grew 3.2% in the first quarter (Q4: +4.2% yoy) and services expanded 4.4% in Q1 (Q4: +4.9% yoy). A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the strong growth seen in the annual data, as the economy added 1.88% over the previous quarter.